- Age: 31
- | She/her/hers
Country of Origin:
Country of Residence:
We, young activists, want a platform where we can give voice to marginalized females in our country. We must keep insisting on carving a space for ourselves in the society. Girls and women are an essential part of building healthy community. Together, we have the potential to be leaders of today and tomorrow.
- Tara Ashour
Tara Ashour was born and raised in Iraq. She received a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Salahaddin in 2013. As Program Coordinator at Women Empowerment Organization, Tara is responsible for coordinating and promoting gender equality projects related to women, peace, and security implementation, as well as the monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the UNSCR. She also leads projects that enable adolescent girls and young women to have access to public spaces and events through sports. As Iraq Program Officer at Free to Run, Tara works towards peace by bringing girls from different backgrounds together to engage in sports and leadership activities, leading skills through sports curriculum sessions for program participants, developing and maintaining relationships with local authorities, and engaging in regular dialogue with members of the community. Additionally, Tara is a KARAMA Women’s Movement Youth member, MENA region.
What ignited your pursuit for gender equality?
By the early age of 15, I had experienced a lot of unfair gender norms in the male-dominated society where I lived. I had limited access to any public places in my country. But I challenged my community, finished my studies in geosciences, and have now been working in the field for over two years. Inspired by myself, I have decided to change the reality of other females in my country, so I have started leading projects that enable other adolescent girls and young women to have access to public spaces and events through sports.
Please share your biggest wins as an advocate for gender equality.
My goal is to promote the social coexistence and achieving gender equality for adolescent girls. I work towards the development and expansion of a widespread grassroots network of females across Iraq who have the skills necessary to operate as agents for change within their communities. I remember my first team, comprised of IDPs from Mosul and Syrian refugees living in camps, some were not sure whether to complete their education at school. After this program, their lives had changed and created their strong personalities, along with their increased communication skills. Now, they are more confident with ambition to fulfill their education.
Outside of your gender equality advocacy work, what do you enjoy doing?
In my free time, I travel globally. I'm a bibliophile who loves reading.
- Arabic (Advanced/Native)
- English (Advanced/Native)
- Kurdish (Intermediate)
- French (Elementary)
- adolescent girls' rights
- domestic violence against women
- Iraqi NAP1325 Initiative
Past Awards, Certifications, or Fellowships:
- Free to Run With and For Girls Award (2019)
- Trafficking in Persons & Victim Identification for Front Line Staff IOM.OIM (2018)
- Rwanga Foundation Basic Principles of Non-Formal Education Methodology (2018)
- Business English & Report Writing (2013)
- Negotiation skills, mselect (2013)
- IPIMS E-learning Geophysics (2013)
- UN Women's Yvonne Hebert Award program CSW64